Harsh Environment MEMS, including: materials (SiC (on Si), SOI, GaN), metallisation systems for high temperatures and aggressive ambient conditions, and silicon fusion bonding and packaging issues.
The focus of this research is on the development of a gas sensor toolkit for sensitive, selective and stable detection of undesirable gas species (e.g. NOx, SOx, CO, CO2) at high-temperatures. In2O3, NiO, Ga2O3 and Y-doped BaZrO3 for the detection of NOx, H2, CO and humidity, respectively have been investigated. Of primary importance were the effects of materials processing conditions on the gas sensitivity and response rate. Design, fabrication and integration of microhotplate structures with gas sensitive layers capable of functioning at temperatures greater than 500 °C were also performed.
Hydrogel Sensors for Metabolic Markers
The main objective of the research is to develop a sensor array that can monitor different biomarkers such as glucose, pH and pCO2 to help avoid long term diseases caused by irregularities in their levels. A sensing platform based on piezoresistive pressure transducers has been developed which is integrated with stimuli responsive polymers or smart hydrogels that act as the sensing element. Several in vitro experiments have been performed so far to establish stability and reproducibility of the sensor arrays to changes in glucose, ionic strength and pH concentrations in the environmental analyte. Response times to changes in concentrations have been found to be in the range if 5 to 10 minutes.
Integrated Neural Interfaces
The integrated neural interface program centered at the University of Utah is focused on developing chronically implantable, wireless, integrated neural interface devices based on the Utah electrode array. These devices may be used in the central or pheripherial nervous system for neural signal recording and/or stimulation to help people with motor or sensory impairments.